Monday, July 31, 2006

An attempt to Fox by the right!

I have to say I have grown to like Iain Dale, following that false start the one time I briefly met him three years ago. Admittedly if I were in John Prescott's shoes I would hold a very different view, and like any other leading Conservative blogger, one should not be surprised at some of his views and indeed be aware of that invisible health sticker "This blogger is somewhat right-wing and is a Thatcherite Conservative at the end of the day!" But he is considerate, sincere, gives those of us on the left more time than he might otherwise, and he does wear his heart on his sleeve, which may well both be is success and undoing.
That said I was somewhat surprised to find that he spoke out on his blog today in favour of a UK version of Fox News, if only those pests at Ofcom relaxed their guard a bit! He thinks there is a market for it!
Well that's one way of looking at it, but has Iain actually watched Fox News? I am sure he has, but if there was a pro left news channel as openly biased, as shrill, as bullying as many find Fox, I would feel rather embarrassed.
The ofcom rules are there for a reason. There are many in this country who are not party political, who need to rely on at least one aspect of the media which is neutral and balanced. If people want bias they can find it in the newspapers (bar perhaps The Independent) , and you can hardly compare news channels to the blogosphere. Newspapers, TV, Blogs, Town Criers, they all provide news but each has their own culture and their own style. Blogs are usually individual things, it is in their very nature to provide a degree of bias, TV stations are something else entirely, usually involving literally hundreds of people in front of a broader audience.
As someone who holds a degree in Media and who at one time wanted to be a news journalist, the power of the media and the integrity of the journalist being of unfettered and neutral help, along the lines of a civil servant, is a position I hold dear. The moment we have an openly biased news channel in the UK will be a sad day for journalistic integrity.
Incidentally, talking of biased journalists. Hat tip to Kerron for this. I personally think Paxman came of better and that Ann Coulter was not used to being on a news channel where she was not openly slated or given deference, and therefore was not used to the gentle prodding in the style of a prosecuting lawyer. In any case she strikes me as a dangerous, angry, and bitter woman.

7 comments:

Andrew said...

I don't generally think much of ad hominem attacks, but given how deeply unpleasant Ann Coulter has been about, well, everyone, this did make me smile.

Paul Burgin said...

I do wonder how anyone could be as unpleasant as Coulter!

Shaun (ed.) said...

Are you joking Paul? I don't share many of Ann Coulter's fundamentalist viewpoints and dislike her crudeness, but she really came out on top, especially when she proved the point about BBC bias. If you watch the full Youtube version, they showed a negative anti-Coulter segment (showing no balance whatsoever) before the interview and when Paxman tried to mock her for her views on most of the media's pinko liberal bias, she just had to mention that segment's balance and Paxman immediately changed topic.

The moment we have an openly biased news channel in the UK will be a sad day for journalistic integrity

Don’t you think than an openly biased news channel would have much more integrity than the two disguisedly biased news channels (that pretend to be impartial and balanced) we already have.

Paul Burgin said...

But at the same time, the sheer brazen defence of her views and the fact that she seemed flumoxed and the fact that people like her would get nowhere in the UK, meant that she didn't do so well.
As for BBC bias, we have discussed this before. The BBC's remit is to be fair and in many respects it tries to be. Sometimes it fails in that and some of it's reporters get too emotionally involved in their reporting. But it tries to stay fair and balanced. A UK version like Fox News wouldn't make such an effort.
It's better to try, fail, try again, than to not bother much

Shaun (ed.) said...

But at the same time, the sheer brazen defence of her views and the fact that she seemed flumoxed and the fact that people like her would get nowhere in the UK, meant that she didn't do so well.

Maybe, but Paxman looked ridiculous. His questions about whether she actually believes what she writes and says were arrogant and partial. Her views may be extreme and crude, but it is for the viewer and not the BBC to decide.

Sometimes it fails in that and some of it's reporters get too emotionally involved in their reporting.

Not sometimes, all the times. Balance is when both sides of any story or issue is given equal and fair coverage without presenters and reporters opining that one side is more correct or acceptable. I accept that no news station can be perfectly impartial and balanced, but they are just not making the effort in comparison to other channels (where I am, I have access to CNN International, BBC World and Sky News on satellite).

Paul Burgin said...

Well you could put it that Paxman was trying to echo most viewers thoughts, both right and left, but I see your point.
As for BBC bias I see we are not going to agree, although I am glad you share my appreciation of CNN! :)

Shaun (ed.) said...

As for BBC bias I see we are not going to agree

Well, it's sad that you do not see the systemic bias that is so prevelant because of the BBC current affairs personnel coming from a typical London-centric pinko liberal culture - taking the moral highground and sneering at everything that doesn't fit in with their worldview. That's why they sack people like Freddie Forsyth.

Sky's news reporting is the least biased I have ever seen (which is quite ironic, seeing as they have Murdoch interests), because they make an effort to bring both sides of each story or issue.